Welcome to the final week, week four of this advent journey with Mary. This week we focus on her important task of Messiah mothering.
Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Luke tells us throughout about Mary but nothing about her mothering of the messiah.
Yet we do not that..... Mary mothered Jesus.
She woke him each morning. She helped him to get dressed. She prepared his breakfast. She chased him off to school or to work with his father. She picked him up when he fell over. She kissed his hands when they were cut or sore. She worried about him when he was sad. She laughed with him in his joy. She washed him and nurtured him. And she tucked him into bed at night.
She mothered him.
She would also have introduced him to the scriptures. She would have helped him understand the community they lived in. She would have modelled human relationships. She would have helped him learn about life around him.
She mothered him.
And then, when he was 12 years old, Mary thought they’d lost him in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but eventually he was found in the temple in Jerusalem. And for the first time Jesus turned to his parents and said “didn’t you know I’d be in my Father’s house?”
Can you imagine how that would have felt for Mary?
Her son, her boy; yet not JUST her boy, not any ordinary boy. He was Divine.
And he was separating from her sphere of influence, from our ability to teach him, from her physical presence. So we are reminded of the two sides of Mary’s mothering. Both joy and sorrow. As parents we all experience both, but Mary so much more than most hopefully go through.
Prayer of the Day
Father we are reminded today that Mary was called to mother Jesus as any earthly mother, but that Jesus was given as divine to live a human life. We find it hard to balance our lives of faith with our lives in society; today we ask for help as we try to bring the two together. Amen